Following this is a thin circular band of vajras which indicates the transition to the world of knowledge. This represents the element of space.
The red and black circles represent the elements of fire and wind respectively. This whole area is known as the cemetery grounds. The ten wheels include one red wheel in each of the four cardinal directions, one white wheel at each corner, and an additional two red wheels, one each in the east and west. Seated on a lotus flower at the center of each wheel is a fierce female deity embraced by a male naga god, each represented by a dot. In each cemetery are inscribed the eleven seed syllables in Sanskrit.
The next circle is the water element circle containing wave-like ripples, and two mythical animals, each pulling a chariot. On each chariot sits a pair of wrathful, protective deities. This is a symbol of the perpetual flux of the manifest world. 'Crossing the stream,' is frequently used as a symbol of passing through the world of illusion to attain Nirvana.
Following this is the earth element ring filled with interlocking crosses representing the earth's stability.
Finally, the meditator enters into the mandala. The central chamber is a circle containing a vajra (symbolized by a dot). There is an orange dot at the left which symbolizes Kalachakra and his consort Vishvamata. Around the circle are eight lotus petals, on which dots stand for the eight shakti goddesses, signifying the compassionate energies of the enlightened heart.
At the top of the painting can be seen the five Dhyani Buddhas, each carefully delineated according to their respective iconographies as laid down in ancient texts. Thus starting anti-clockwise we have the yellow Ratnasambhava displaying the varada mudra; blue Akshobhya in the bhumisparsha mudra; red Amitabha in the dhyana mudra; white Vairochana in the Dharmachakra mudra and finally the green Amoghasiddhi in the Abhaya mudra.
This thangka was created in the Lama Thanka painting school at Bhaktapur, Kathmandu. The artist is Shri Ram Bahadur Lama.